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Deficit

It's A Free Country ®

Even Liberal Experts Agree Obama Punts on Deficit

Thursday, February 24, 2011

WNYC

There are mixed signals coming from Washington about the deficit.

This isn't new, but at least the mixed signals include a growing number of lawmakers who are beginning to be more honest and hint at supporting real action on long-term debt.

Unfortunately, President Obama is not among them.

Comment

The Takeaway

Union Battles Spread to Ohio

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Wisconsin, demonstrators are camped out for a seventh day over a state bill that would cut state workers’ ability to bargain collectively. But Wisconsin isn’t the only state where union battles are blazing. In Ohio, state Republicans are promoting measures to cut collective bargaining as an eventual cost-cutting measure as well. Ohio faces an estimated $8 billion budget deficit. Ohio Public Radio State House Reporter Bill Cohen explains the latest.

Comments [3]

It's A Free Blog

Stucknation: Our Debt Service Time Bomb

Monday, February 21, 2011

When President Obama released his 2012 budget proposal, he spoke of hard choices and investments. What he left out were the real jaw-dropping numbers contained in an obscure Department of the Treasury Report from the Office of Debt Management that was released two weeks earlier.

The 24-page document in charts and graphs dispassionately lays out the explosion in costs associated with just servicing the nation's rolling multi-trillion dollar deficit.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Budget: Congressman Grimm Reacts

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY 13, including Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn) reacts to Obama's new budget proposal.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Budget: Congressman Nadler Reacts

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D, NY-08) talks about the president's budget proposal and what it means for New York.

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It's A Free Country ®

New York and the New Budget

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

WNYC
It’s easy to demonize someone when they’re cutting, because it hurts. Everyone is screaming for cuts because we have to stop the spending. But they just don’t want their program cut. That’s the political nightmare, if you will, for someone who does want to stand up and do the right thing for the country.

— Congressman Michael Grimm (R-NY13) on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [43]

WNYC News

Financial 411: President Obama Details $3.7 Trillion Budget

Monday, February 14, 2011

President Barack Obama has released his $3.7 trillion budget for 2012. It's a mix of spending cuts and tax increases as well as funding for programs the president says will keep the U.S. competitive.

Comment

The Brian Lehrer Show

A State of Bankruptcy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington, talks about her congressional testimony on the fiscal woes of state and local governments - and whether bankruptcy should be an option. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The False Hope of State Bankruptcy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WNYC
This is a problem endemic to politics — people without responsibility happy to go off saying things that are not going to work in practice.

— Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington on the Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [19]

The Brian Lehrer Show

UK Economy: A Warning Against Budget Cuts?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Paul Wallace, European economics editor for The Economist, discusses the contraction in the UK economy and how it's playing into the debate over spending versus austerity measures.

Comments [2]

It's A Free Blog

Will Obama Keep His Word on a Government that Lives Within Its Means?

Friday, January 28, 2011

WNYC

The president offered some straight talk during his State of the Union address on the relationship between our deficit, long-term debt problems and social welfare spending. He admitted that there would have to be sacrifices to bring our deficits under control, and that only working on non-military discretionary spending barely scratches the surface of the issue.

But what do the American people want to do about this? Normally you could just look at public opinion polling, but in this case, most polls are asking the wrong questions.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

John Cassidy on how Chinese state capitalism takes after the U.S. and Europe

Monday, December 06, 2010

John Cassidy on how Chinese state capitalism takes after the U.S. and Europe.

Comment

It's A Free Country ®

Why the Deficit Commission Proposal Flopped

Monday, December 06, 2010

WNYC

I think the whole approach of the fiscal commission was to put the cart before the horse. The problem is not how do we reduce the deficit. The problem is how do we get a recovery going.

- Robert Kuttner,co-editor of The American Prospect magazine on The Brian Lehrer Show

Comments [2]

The Takeaway

Are Depression-Era Services Now Bankrupting Recession-Era States?

Monday, December 06, 2010

In the discussion of our nation’s growing debt, there’s an issue that may be going largely unreported in the wash of discussion of the federal deficit. All across the country, smaller budgets — county, municipal and state — struggle to pay for underfunded civic services. Is it possible that the services we’ve come to depend on since the New Deal are, in fact, acting as an “architecture of debt?”

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It's A Free Blog

Stucknation: Mom, Apple Pie and Bonded Indebtedness

Monday, December 06, 2010

While Washington Democrats and Republicans fret over the federal deficit, scant attention is being paid to the debt explosion on local municipal balance sheets in all 50 states.

The federal government is by no means the only big spender and big league borrower. Local governments have been on their own spending and borrowing binge.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Rut or Recovery: Government Services

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Bob Hennelly, WNYC reporter, discusses the cuts to police forces in Newark and Camden, and other cuts to government services in New Jersey and around the region.

Comments [7]

The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Congress Tackles Debt Reduction, Morning Headlines

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The President's debt commission has released it's controversial recommendations for reducing the country's budget deficit. Will lawmakers get tough on debt, or are the suggested cuts to tough for Congress to swallow?  

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Transportation Nation

Deficit Commission: Raise the Gas Tax. And Soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

(Washington, D.C. -- Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation) The president's deficit commission is taking aim at the Highway Trust Fund in its quest to take a hatchet to federal spending and debt.

The report from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform--out just this morning on Capitol Hill--calls for $3.8 trillion in deficit reduction by 2020. It's a downright austere prescription including tax increases, spending cuts and other reforms designed to, as one member put it "right the fiscal ship" of the nation. The politically-charged document has politicians running to their ideological corners in anticipation of a brutal fight over fiscal policy.

But buried on page 21 of the report is a little gem that's sure to make the divisions just a tiny bit wider. Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson call on Congress to raise the federal gas tax by 15 cents between 2013 and 2015, and in the meantime limiting national highway spending to the amount of revenue the fund takes in annually.

This would be a marked change from how the fund works now. Currently, contracts created in authorization bills are mandatory, while the money to cover them is discretionary. The result? According to Simpson and Bowles, are "budget gimmicks" that allow Congress to steer around spending rules and write more checks on the deficit for highway projects.

"Before asking taxpayers to pay more for roads, rail, bridges and infrastructure, we must ensure existing funds are not wasted," the report states.

The report calls for "significant reform" to control highway spending, including limiting that spending to high priority projects and doing away with transportation earmarks like the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska.

Whether or not these cries are heeded by Congress remains to be seen. The commission is scheduled to vote Friday on the recommendations, and few observers, including Simpson and Bowles expect it to get anywhere near the 14 votes that constitute a consensus among the 18 members.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Deficit Commission Goes Public

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

David Leonhardt, writer of the "Economic Scene" column for the New York Times, talks about today's deficit commission meeting.

Comments [28]

WNYC News

Goverment Employees React to Donating Raises to Federal Deficit

Monday, November 29, 2010

WNYC

New Yorkers who work for the federal government have mixed reactions to President Obama's plan, announced Monday, for a two-year wage freeze.

Comments [2]